Standard Practice for Building Energy Performance Assessment for a Building Involved in a Real Estate Transaction
4.1 Uses—This practice is intended for use on a voluntary basis by parties who wish to conduct a BEPA on a building. The process defined in this practice involves the collection of building energy use information, some of which may be collected as part of Guide E2018 PCA or Practice E1527 ESA. The practice is intended primarily as an approach to conducting a standardized inquiry designed to identify representative building energy performance in connection with a commercial property involved in a real estate transaction. This practice is intended to reflect a commercially practical and reasonable inquiry.
4.2 Clarifications on Use:
4.2.1 Use in Conjunction with Guide E2018 PCA or Practice E1527—This practice, when added as a supplemental scope of work to a Guide E2018 PCA or a Practice E1527 ESA, is designed to assist the user and consultant in developing information about energy use in a building or buildings involved in a real estate transaction. The BEPA also has utility to a wide range of persons, including those who may not be involved in a real estate transaction.
4.2.2 Independent Use—This practice may also be used independently of any other building assessment to determine building energy performance.
4.2.3 Site-Specific—This practice is property-specific in that it relates to existing building energy performance. The practice is not intended to replace Guide E2018 PCA or Practice E1527 ESA conducted by a qualified consultant or individual, but rather to supplement it.
4.3 Who May Conduct—A BEPA shall be performed by a qualified consultant or individual (hereafter referred to as the “Consultant”) with the education, training and experience necessary to perform the requirements of this practice (see Appendix X4). No practical approach can be designed to eliminate the role of professional judgment and the value and need for experience in the individual performing the inquiry. The professional experience of the Consultant is, consequently, important to the performance of this BEPA.
4.4 Additional Services—As set forth in Section 13, additional services may be contracted for between the user and the Consultant. Such additional services may include issues not included within the scope of this practice. For example, the user or Consultant may wish to benchmark the building against similar buildings in the portfolio or in the same geographical area or identify select green building attributes that may contribute to the energy efficiency performance and/or the building’s valuation.
4.4.1 Benchmarking Additional Service—Any benchmarking system selected relies on critical data in generating its output, so the validity of the data collection process directly impacts the integrity and usefulness of the benchmarking system’s results. Utilization of this practice and adoption of its data collection approach can serve to enhance the integrity of the benchmarking process for all transactional stakeholders in a standardized, fully transparent, uniform, and consistent manner. Notwithstanding, building energy use information should always be evaluated within the context in which it is collected and building energy use numbers should not be used without conveying this context. (Refer to Appendix X1 for additional information.)
4.5 Principles—The following principles are an integral part of this practice and are intended to be referred to in resolving any ambiguity or exercising such discretion as is accorded the user or Consultant in performing a BEPA.
4.5.1 Uncertainty Not Eliminated in BEPA—No BEPA practice can wholly eliminate uncertainty in determining the myriad of variables that can impact the energy use of a building on a property. The BEPA is intended to reduce, but not eliminate, uncertainty regarding the impact such variables can have on the energy use of a building.
4.5.2 Not Exhaustive—This practice is not meant to be an exhaustive assessment. There is a point at which the cost of information obtained or the time required to gather it outweighs the usefulness of the information and, in fact, may be a material detriment to the orderly completion of a real estate transaction. One of the purposes of this practice is to identify a balance between the competing goals of limiting the costs and time demands inherent in performing a BEPA and the reduction of uncertainty about unknown conditions resulting from collecting additional information.
4.5.3 Level of Inquiry is Variable—Not every building will warrant the same level of assessment. The appropriate level of assessment will be guided by the type of property subject to assessment and its complexity, the needs of the user, and the information already available or developed in the course of the inquiry.
4.6 Rules of Engagement—The contractual and legal obligations between a Consultant and a user (and other parties, if any) are outside the scope of this guide. No specific legal relationship between the Consultant and user was considered during the preparation of this practice.
1.1 Purpose—The purpose of this standard is to define a commercially useful practice in the United States of America for conducting a building energy performance assessment (BEPA) on a building involved in a commercial real estate transaction and subsequent reporting of the building energy performance information. The practice is intended to provide a methodology to the user for the collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting of building energy performance information associated with a commercial building. The practice may be used independently or as a voluntary supplement to Guide E2018 for property condition assessments or Practice E1527 for Phase I environmental site assessments. Utilization of this practice and performance of a BEPA is voluntary. If the property owner (e.g., the seller) is unwilling or unable to provide building energy use and cost information, a BEPA cannot be performed.
1.2 Building Energy Performance—This practice defines building energy performance as the building’s total annual energy use and cost for heating, cooling, electricity, and other related uses. Energy use, for example, includes total electricity purchased; purchased or delivered steam, hot water, or chilled water; natural gas; fuel oil; coal; propane; biomass; or any other matter consumed as fuel and any electricity generated on site from renewable/alternative energy systems (for example, wind energy generator technology, fuel cells, microturbines or solar photovoltaic systems).
1.3 Objectives—Objectives in the development of this practice are to: (1) define a commercially useful practice for collecting, compiling, and analyzing building energy performance information associated with a building involved in a commercial real estate transaction; (2) facilitate consistency in the collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting of building energy performance information as may be required under building benchmarking, labeling, disclosure, or mandatory auditing regulations; (3) supplement as needed a property condition assessment conducted in accordance with Guide E2018 or an environmental site assessment conducted in accordance with Practice E1527; (4) provide that the process for building energy performance data collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting is consistent, transparent, practical and reasonable; and (5) provide an industry standard for the conduct of a BEPA on a building involved in a commercial real estate transaction, subject to existing statutes and regulations which may differ in terms of scope and practice.
1.4 Documentation—The scope of this practice includes data collection, compilation and reporting requirements. Documentation of all sources, records, and resources relied upon in the investigation is provided in the report.
1.5 Considerations Outside the Scope—The use of this practice is limited to the collection, compilation, and analysis of building energy performance information as defined by this practice. While this information may be used to facilitate building benchmarking, labeling, rating or ranking, reporting of building energy performance information between a seller and a buyer or a landlord and a tenant on a voluntary basis or as may be required by building benchmarking, labeling, disclosure or mandatory auditing regulations applicable to the building, or any other use, such use is beyond the scope of this practice.
1.6 Organization of This Practice—This practice has 13 sections and 11 appendices. The appendices are included for informational purposes only and are not part of the procedures prescribed in this practice.
Describes the scope of the practice.
Identifies referenced documents.
Provides terminology pertinent to the practice.
Discusses the significance and use of the practice.
Discusses the relationship between this practice and ASTM E2018 or ASTM E1527.
Describes the user's responsibilities under this practice.
Describes the BEPA process.
Describes the site visit and walk-through.
Discusses interviews with owner , operator, or key site manager.
Describes records collection for the BEPA process.
Provides the records analysis methodology for building energy use data.
Focuses on BEPA report preparation and reporting of building energy use information.
Identifies non-scope considerations.
Provides the legal background on federal, state, or local building energy use disclosure legislation and regulation.
Identifies building energy performance and sustainability labeling programs.
Discusses government and utility energy efficiency incentives and grants.
Provides guidance on suggested qualifications for the consultant conducting the BEPA.
Information that can be collected from the property owner/operator/key site manager.
Provides a recommended table of contents and report format for the BEPA.
Provides general property types with categories and subcategories that can impact building energy use.
Provides a general commercial building survey checklist.
Presents carbon emission estimation methodology associated with combustion processes related to energy use in a commercial building.
Provides common no-cost/low-cost energy saving measures for commercial buildings.
Provides illustrative example of building site energy use calculations.
1.7 Units—The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.
1.8 This practice cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this practice may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard practice is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this practice be applied without consideration of a building’s many unique aspects. The word “standard” in the title means only that the practice has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.
1.9 Nothing in this practice is intended to create or imply the existence of a legal obligation for reporting of energy, performance, or other building-related information. Any consideration of whether such an obligation exists under any federal, state, local, or common law is beyond the scope of this practice.
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